Volume 116, No. 4: April 2020 EditionTop

They Said It...

"We've seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups. We need to #FlattenTheCurve." New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, in an April 7 tweet, announcing his decision to close all state and county parks, as well as state forests, because too many people were ignoring social distancing to help prevent the coronavirus, and crowding the parks.

In the News... 
CMS Speeding up Payments to Providers A1

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is attempting to increase cash flow to providers by expanding their current Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. The program now includes a wider group of Medicare Part A and Part B providers/suppliers.

For details on eligibility, method for calculating the payment amount and repayment timeframes, carefully review the following CMS communications prior to submitting your request form.

Details on this change in policy that will run during the COVID-19 crisis, can be found by going to the CMS news release.

CMS also has a fact sheet on the changes, available here.

Providers can access and submit CMS's Accelerated and Advance Payment Request form here.

Physicians Also Eligible for Loans A2

Physician practices can request an advanced payment of up to 100% of the Medicare payment amount based on a three-month lookback period. The guidance does not specify how the lookback period is determined.

Health care entities must make a request for an accelerated payment under the APP by submitting a form to Novitas, the Pennsylvania Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). Pa. is Jurisdiction L, Part B for physicians -- https://www.novitas-solutions.com/webcenter/portal/MedicareJL.

Once requested, CMS anticipates Novitas issuing payment within seven calendar days.

To qualify for the APP, you must:
  • Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days prior to the date of the request.
  • Not be in bankruptcy, or under active medical review or program integrity investigation.
  • Not have outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.
Essential Links for Phila. Medical Practices Facing Cash Flow Issues A3

The Philadelphia County Medical Society (PCMS) has developed a list of important links for physicians and their medical practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find crucial SBA Loans information, by going to:
CMS Announces Final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Payment Methodologies for 2021 A4

CMS says the methodologies announced are designed to ensure continuous and predictable payments across the health care system and ensure care can be provided where it is needed.

The CY 2021 Rate Announcement may be viewed by going to the CMS Medicare Advantage Rates and Statistics Announcements and Documents webpage and selecting "2021 Announcement."

Philadelphia Medical and Professional Students Helping to Find Protective Equipment for Health Care Providers A5

The students are dedicating much of their time to finding ways to provide health care workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They are working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to ensure that all donations are distributed fairly.

The students are organizing and running the Philadelphia Organization of Health Professions Students (POHPS) and Personal Protection Equipment to Philadelphia (PPE2PHL). The organizations are canvassing the area for medical supplies.

You can help by going to:
Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps Seeking Volunteers A6

The Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps is seeking medical and non-medical volunteers to get involved in the COVID-19 response.

The Philadelphia MRC is a group of more than 2,500 volunteers who serve the city during public health emergencies and large-scale events. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health trains the Philadelphia MRC and coordinates its response in times of need.

Interested volunteers must register for the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps on SERVPA.

A guide for using SERVPA is available here.

For more information, send an e-mail to mrc@phila.gov.

Thanks! A7

We are deeply grateful to the PCMS members who have been courageously treating the victims of the coronavirus. Their work - exhausting and dangerous - is saving the lives of hundreds of Philadelphia residents every day. Our PCMS website provides resources and links for physicians and other professional staff who are facing stress from overwork and the dangers of dealing with the virus.

For more information on avenues that can help you cope, go to philamedsoc.org

Calendar of EventsCalendar

21 - Buprenorphine Waiver Training

Date: April 21, May 5, May 11, and May 20
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) is offering an incentive program for providers who complete their buprenorphine waiver training as well as the MAT Preceptor Program this year. To learn more about the trainings and how to qualify, contact Catherine Abrams at Health Federation of Philadelphia: cabrams@healthfederation.org

To register, send your preferred date and your contact information to Rebecca Tantala at tantalar@einstein.edu

Philadelphia County Medical Society | stat@philamedsoc.org
215-563-5343 | http://philamedsoc.org